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Analysis:  Mario Galaxy 2  Leads Purchase Intent
Analysis: Mario Galaxy 2 Leads Purchase Intent
May 3, 2010 | By Nick Williams

May 3, 2010 | By Nick Williams

[With E3 just ahead, GamePlan Insights analyst Nick Williams tells Gamasutra which released and upcoming console/PC retail titles are leading awareness and purchase intent among U.S. gamers for the month of April 2010.]

First-party exclusives continue to dominate the GamePlan Insights charts for titles that U.S. gamers intend to purchase in the near/medium future -- although the titles are separated by significant release windows.

Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the most immediate title launch, and the latest OTX tracking data shows that nearly 1 in 4 Wii gamers plans to purchase the title at some point.

The latest Mario installment also has the highest 'Recession Proof Index' of any titles currently being tracked, meaning that it is most frequently chosen as a top-three purchase consideration on gamers' wishlists.

Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3, ranked first and third respectively, are battling for the most anticipated Xbox 360 title. Unsurprisingly, there is a large overlap between the audience of these two marquee shooter franchises.

52 percent of those who plan to buy Halo: Reach also plan to buy Gears of War 3, and 51 percent of those who plan to buy Gears of War 3 also plan to buy Halo: Reach.

Given this massive overlap in franchise audience, it is important that Microsoft create some distance between the two releases to avoid cannibalizing sales.

On the PC front, Blizzard franchises appear to be stronger than ever, with three titles in the top 15. While there is no denying the importance of online social/casual games, the impressive levels of purchase intent for Diablo III, Starcraft II, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm suggest that the traditional PC gamer is alive and well.

Here's the full charts for the month of April 2010, created by polling around 4,000 U.S. gamers on the titles they intend to buy:

As for purchase intent for already-released title, Sony's God of War III dominates the list, with more than five times the average purchase intent of titles that have already released in 2010. This bodes well for its continued sales performance.

In fact, combined with the strong performance of Final Fantasy XIII, ranked second, the PlayStation 3 has a great deal of momentum heading into the summer months.

Here's the list of already-debuted console and PC retail games by consumer purchase intent during April 2010:

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Matt Matthews
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It's interesting that, in the second chart, there is a modest lead for Pokemon HeartGold over SoulSilver. The NPD Group sales charts from a couple of weeks ago showed that SoulSilver outsold HeartGold.

Daniel Boutros
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Fallout being so low on that list is pretty misguided in my opinion. I don't think these metrics are well-thought out.

E Zachary Knight
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How can it be not well thought out? You ask 4000 people what games they are planning on buying this year and not very many said Fallout.

Nicholas Sweeney
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For me the biggest surprise is not seeing Red Dead Redemption on the list. It seems to me that everywhere I look there is a video, ad or preview of the game. Is it because it wasn't in the list of the survey? Maybe it's just because I'm looking for it that I feel like it's everywhere?

Speaking of a Take-Two property, I'm also surprised that we don't see GTA Episodes of Liberty City in the second chart, but there's STO and Dante's PSP, I would never have guessed it. Again, is it because it wasn't on the list for some reason?

Roje Smith
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According to the chart, Fallout has the lowest Awareness Index value (only one under 100) and it's not that close to the 2nd lowest AWI value (SOCOM 4 @ 115). Considering the fact that it's Purchase Intent value is close to several games that have much higher awareness values, I'd expect Fallout to make significant leaps up that list as:

1.) More information is shared by Bethesda

2.) Games currently on the list are taken off because they would be available in stores before FONV's release (i.e. the August 2010 version of these results should have Fallout much higher than how it is now).

Nick Williams
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Hi all - thanks for the comments.

@Roje - your analysis is spot-on. The awareness to purchase intent ratio is very strong for Fallout, and it is likely that it will move up in the charts as more info becomes available and other titles are released.

@Nicholas Sweeney - Red Dead Redemption is currently being tracked but falls outside the Top 25 (awareness index is 84 / purchase intent index is 110 for the 360 version and 95 for the PS3) Because it is a new IP, Awareness is still relatively low among a nationally representative sample of gamers (remember, not everyone visits the IGNs/Gamespots of this world). That said, our data shows a strong increase in key metrics over the last couple of weeks (including measures such as Unaided Awareness, Ad Awareness, Purchase Intent, Positive Buzz, and others).

As for Episodes from Liberty City, there was an error in our database which caused this to be accidentally left off of the charts. Looking at the data now, the PS3 version would have ranked approximately 5th on the list of released titles. Thanks for pointing this out to us!

Jonathan Gilmore
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Since Red Dead Redemption was brought up, any chance of getting some insight on the awareness/purchase intent index?

Jonathan Escobedo
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I'm impressed that Mario is so high on the list. I know I'm looking forward to it. One thing I did notice was that beside SMG2 having the highest recession proof rating, was the fact that the yet unannounced new Zelda has the third highest recession proof rating. If that's the case, Nintendo look like they'll be doing real good this year.

gus one
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I'm looking forward to Red Dead Redemption and will be buying it. Just cannot decide if it's going to be the next successful franchise i.e. 'GTA with Cowboys' or if it will fall flat on it's feet.